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PIA Press Release

Davao Norte puts its sights on sports

by RG Alama

Davao City (4 November) -- Davao del Norte Provincial Sports Coordinator Anthony del Rosario said that the planned groundbreaking for the Provincial Sports Complex will be tentatively set for December.

Del Rosario said the groundbreaking for the P320-million facility was set for October, but the Provincial Engineering Office has not yet finalized the detailed technical specifications for the project.

The Governor (Rodolfo del Rosario, Anthony's father) wants all the detailed specifications to be all in place. "We want to iron out the technical specifications before the bidding," the younger del Rosario said.

The project which was originally pegged at around P250-million has increased to the present cost of P320-million due to rising materials cost. The complex will include a rubberized track-and-field oval, bleachers and grandstand, Olympic-size swimming pool, covered multi-purpose court and other support facilities.

"We are targeting the completion of the complex by the first quarter of 2010," said del Rosario. With its completion they are eyeing to host big-time national sports events like the Philippine National Games and Palarong Pambansa.

The Sports Complex is one of the programs under the intensified sporting development plan for the province. One of which is the sustained all-year round training of the provincial athletes. And the huge leap in budgetary allocation for the athletic program. From 2007 budget of P1-million the sports budget was hiked to P3-million and in 2009, Del Rosario is proposing a P7-million fund.

The province has focused on 10 key sports which included boxing, taekwondo, karatedo, football, swimming, athletics, chess, volleyball and basketball. In close coordination with the Philippine Sports Commission, the province is working on its grassroots development program.

Del Rosario, the former Provincial Vice-Governor is a former Ateneo football varsity player, his experience in sports management began in 1998-2002 when he was the general manager of the popular Davao Eagles basketball team in the now-defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA) In 1999 he was elected President of the cage league.

As a former athlete he says that he had seen the benefits of engaging in sports thus his desire to push for an athletic program in his native Davao del Norte. Aside from the province, his love for sports is reflected on his two daughters who are currently highly-rated tennis players in the country. (PIA) [top]

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